A: Pasta e fagioli is the favorite soup of this column's readers. Angelo Avino sent us this recipe, a creation of his mother, the restaurant's chef, Anna Avino. "(My mother) was born in Naples, Italy, and has always had a passion for cooking and food. Many of her recipes today have been handed down by her family or created in our kitchen," wrote Avino.
The restaurant now known as Amalfi Ristorante Italiano originally opened in 1998 as Salvatore Trattoria. In 2006, Anna and her husband, Alfredo, her sons Angelo and Francesco and her nephew Salvatore joined forces and reopened as Amalfi Ristorante Italiano.
Is there a recipe from a metro Atlanta restaurant you’d like to make at home? Tell us and we’ll try to get it. We’ll also test it and adapt it for the home kitchen. Because of volume, we can’t answer all inquiries. Send your request, your address and phone number to email@example.com and put “From the menu of” and the name of restaurant in the subject line.
Amalfi’s Pasta e Fagioli
Hands on: 20 minutes
Total time: 3 hours, 15 minutes, plus soaking time
Makes: 24 cups
Dried cannellini beans are available at the Buford Highway Farmers Market.
1 pound dried cannellini beans
14 cups water, divided, plus water to soak and cook the beans
2 garlic cloves
1 cup crushed plum tomatoes
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onions, additional for garnish
1/2 cup diced pancetta (about 2 ounces)
1/3 cup tomato paste
1/3 cup chopped garlic
1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley, additional for garnish
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 cubes chicken bouillon
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound tubetini pasta
Salt and pepper
Chopped parsley and onions for garnish
In a large stockpot, cover the beans with water and soak beans overnight. The next day, drain the beans and add enough fresh water to cover the beans by 2 inches. Add garlic cloves and bring water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until beans are just tender, about 1 hour, depending on the freshness of your beans.
When beans are tender, remove garlic and discard. Drain beans, then return them to the pot. Add 12 cups water and bring mixture to a simmer. Cook for 90 minutes. Add tomatoes, olive oil, onions, pancetta, tomato paste, chopped garlic, parsley, garlic powder, bouillon cubes and pepper. Simmer 30 minutes. Add remaining 2 cups water and pasta. Bring mixture to a boil and cook until pasta is tender, about 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning and serve garnished with chopped parsley and onions.
Per 1-cup serving: 217 calories (percent of calories from fat, 32), 8 grams protein, 29 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber, 8 grams fat (1 gram saturated), 3 milligrams cholesterol, 236 milligrams sodium.